Grantham dance company is a major boost for Gravity Fields Festival

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A Grantham theatrical and contemporary ballet company has helped the Gravity Fields Festival attract vital funding.

Chantry Dance, whose performances were a major feature of the festival in 2014 and will again be a highlight this year, applied successfully to the Big Lottery Awards for All fund for £9,800 to help schools and community groups take part in Gravity’s large-scale outdoor events.

Paul Chantry and Rae Piper of Chantry Dance Company. Photo: Dani Bower

Paul Chantry and Rae Piper of Chantry Dance Company. Photo: Dani Bower

Workshops engaging with youth, older people and hard to reach groups will enable participants to take part in Saturday night‘s procession and the exciting LED Umbrella spectacular produced by the world famous Cirque Bijou with choreography taught by Chantry Dance.

Saturday evening is always a highlight of Gravity Fields Festival, this year taking place from September 21 to 25, and will see circus artists, street performers, puppeteers and magicians in the town centre evoking Newton’s era of alchemy in the festival inspired by him.

They will be joined by acrobats, a giant Heath Robinson contraption and the Helios 18m flaming arc of steel outside the Guildhall.

The grant-funded ‘Genius Community Programme’ will combine dance and movement tuition skills with LED costume making workshops so that participants gain new skills, get involved with the community and even to get more exercise.

Some schools sessions have already been held and many more workshops are happening for schools and community groups in August and September.

Festival organisers South Kesteven District Council have already signed up more than 500 workshop participants onto 25 sessions, with 100 young dancers also being trained to take part.

This year Chantry Dance has an international cast performing two major works at the Guildhall Arts Centre and Stamford Arts Centre – Ulysses Unbound and The Stacked Deck, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

For Chantry Dance, which has thrived since moving to Grantham from London in 2013, Paul Chantry says that workshops have gone incredibly well with participants extremely excited at the prospect of being involved with the festival.

“It’s getting out the message that there are no barriers with dance and movement,” he said. “People who have never danced can join in, with no barriers. We hope that it will encourage children to continue to dance regularly after this project has finished.

“Gravity Fields has given us a fantastic platform to showcase Chantry Dance and our presence in Grantham and as a festival it’s amazing.

“It brings so many people into the town and engages them with arts and science they would not otherwise have access to.”

For tickets and information call the box office on 01476 406158 or go to